ST. PAUL -- Dozens of Minnesota city councils, township board and mayoral elections are without candidates this year.

After analyzing candidate filings and investigators found more than 250 instances in which no one is seeking the job.

A few of the undesired spots are in places with 1,000 or more residents, but most affected cities have tiny populations.

League of Minnesota Cities executive director David Unmacht says he hasn't studied the municipal ballot vacancies closely enough to declare this year's number a lapse or a trend. But he says each city tends to have a different explanation for its lack of candidates.

Write-in votes could determine some municipal leaders. Most of the cities should be able to appoint leaders to fill any gaps after the election.